Every week, the writers and editors of Windows Central put our heads together and share all the films, TV, and books we’re enjoying (or in some cases, really not enjoying), and then we pack ’em all together in a post, for your enjoyment. This week’s roundup features a movie about a seemingly-suicidal thrill seeker, a show of about people who’re making sure that when the apocalypse comes, they’re ready, and a book that inspired a couple of our favorite Xbox games.
And if nothing here seems worth your attention, se have (many) more suggestions from weeks past at the link below.
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Queen is undeniably one of the biggest bands of all time, and upon hearing that there was going to be a movie made about its rise to fame — including all the personal stuff about the enigmatic Freddie Mercury — I didn’t really think it could live up to real life.
That’s probably still true, and I have heard grumbling about the movie not taking any chances or really taking a look at what made Mercury who he was, but after seeing a video comparing the real 1985 Live Aid performance with the fictional version, I think it deserves a watch if not just for Rami Malek’s performance.
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Some people, for whatever reason, need to risk their lives to really enjoy themselves. Me, I’m happy with a good beer and a good movie. But, hey, to each his own. The star of the National Geographic documentary Free Solo falls into the former camp. And he’s a @#%$*& nutcase.
In the documentary, said nutcase not only chooses to climb gigantic mountains and rockfaces, he chooses to do so by himself (hence the “solo” in the name) and without any ropes to protect him in case he falls (the “free”). He also tasks himself with becoming the first person to ever “free solo” what is probably the single most challenging rockface in the world: Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.
The film is as intense as it is beautifully shot. And it seems like both a study in human focus and endurance, and in mental health. (Again, this dude is a nutcase.) I loved it. You will too.
Recommended by Jez Corden, senior editor
In today’s times, with uncertainty at every corner, you really have to wonder what the future holds. Irreversible devastating climate change, the collapse of natural ecosystems, the threat of nuclear war, a global viral pandemic, could these things realistically happen in our lifetime? Maybe not, isn’t the logical thing to at least prepare for it? Also, maybe not. In any case, that’s what Doomsday Preppers is all about.
Doomsday Preppers is a reality show about the extreme ways some families and individuals go to prepare for the apocalypse. Whether it’s stockpiling masses of dried food, building makeshift hydroponics farms, or even repurposing missile silos into nuclear bunkers, this show has it all.
I realized that 99 per cent of the games I play these days are apocalypse-oriented, so I figured, why not watch some apocalypse TV shows as well?
The Reckoning — John Grisham
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Grisham’s latest bestseller is about a wealthy white family in 1940s Mississippi, whose war-hero, prodigal son mysteriously murders the local preacher out of nowhere. The beginning of the book is dedicated to the murder, and it sets the stage for the second half, when you find out why a beloved man who’s never committed a crime in his life would do such a thing.
It’s part courtroom drama, part mystery, and part war novel, and it’s a genuine page-turner. There’s a clear undercurrent of race relations in the American South in the early Twentieth Century, though it’s always just below the surface for most of the tale. Grisham’s latest books are always at the front of just about of every modern bookstore, at a time when modern bookstores are disappearing — at least the brick and mortar ones — for good reason. The dude knows how to spin a yarn, and his writing in this novel is straightforward yet skilled. The book’s a bit long, but it’s worth a look.
Metro 2033 — Dmitry Glukhovsky
Recommended by Brendan Lowry, contributing games writer
Metro 2033 is the first novel in the Metro series, which was penned by Dmitry Glukhovsky and has become a cultural mainstay in Russia. The book also is a best-seller in America, and its superb quality led to the creation of the Metro video games that loosely retold the story in an interactive format. If you love dark post-apocalyptic horror and complex themes, this novel is right up your alley.
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